At the end of Weir Road, adjacent to Target and CVS Pharmacy off Jefferson Davis Highway, is a narrow strip of orange Virginia clay leading into the woods. Heavy equipment blocks the entrance and concrete pipes litter the passage.
The clay will soon turn to asphalt as a new road leading from Weir Road to the John Tyler Community College (JTCC) takes shape.
According to Holly Walker, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, the new entrance exit should be completed in time for the fall semester.
“A second entrance has been discussed for many years,” Walker wrote in an e-mail. “This particular plan has been worked on for about four years.”
Getting in and out of the entrance to JTCC has always been both, an exercise in patience and an accident waiting to happen. That issue will go away when a right in and right out intersection will replace the existing turn-in from both directions.
According to Walker, the 1080 feet long (about .20 miles,) is being constructed by Shoosmith Brothers Inc., and will cost approximately $700,000.
The new access road will be two lanes wide, and the land was provided by an easement from DSRA II LLC and will handle the volume that the college needs.
The traffic light at Weir Road will give students and faculty a safe way to enter and exit the community college.
The Village News reported in 2009 that while traffic may have proven to be a problem, Walker said that parking isn’t an issue. “We actually have a good number of spaces, and we haven’t had any reports of any kinds of issues with people finding parking places.” The school does rent out its Nicholas Student Center for outside organizations, and riders catching the GRTC bus will often park at the school, but so far, Walker said, the parking is enough to meet demand.
Peak rush hours are likely to occur between 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and in the evening between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., Walker said. Though the clogged conditions might be frustrating to some drivers, congestion tends to thin out after the semester’s first two weeks; at that point, students usually start to adjust their schedules, arriving earlier or later, or begin carpooling.
That issue will soon be a thing of the past.